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question on frivolous RTI



what exactly is considered a frivolous RTI. say if there a hierarchy at a public office is like this

department a - b--c
and c being the lowest department.
few RTIs filed with c never got  a response. the applicant dont want to take it to first/second appeal given the years it takes to  dispose.

then,does filing RTI with department a,b,c at a time,but with slightly different question, is considered frivolous?

Edited by user9999

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Sunil Ahya

The answer to your query is very simple:

As per section 7(1) a requested information is to be either provided or the request rejected for any of the reasons specified in section 8 and 9 of the Act.

That the information sought is frivolous is not an exemption given under section 8 or 9 of the RTI Act.

Therefore if you have not received the requested information (instead of joining issues with PIO on frivolous or non-frivolous), the best way forward is to file a first appeal under section 19(1) and if need be follow it up with a second appeal under section 19(3) of the RTI Act.

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This decision is really based on case to case. As is said in the Government, you show the face, I show you the rule.


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Prasad GLN

Sorry, the act never defined such 'frivolous' symptoms.

There is nothing wrong in seeking information till it is secured, as seeking information is a right and not a crime.

If an applicant files RTI application, even after receiving such information he must be a fool or idiot to spend amounts on fee and postage and precious time.

If PIO thinks that it is a frivolous application, he must maintain record and quote what was exactly solicited and provided earlier, with such reference of the application/PIO response and build a data with every reply.

Ofcourse, one IC has even recommended that information provided on each question with such PIO response references must be displayed in Office notice board, uploaded in website.

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Prasad GLN

Even same question /query can be solicited from either a or b or c or from all at a time if they are custodian of the information till correct, complete and relevant information is provided by any one of them.

The general word used in judicial cases is resjudicata ..Once an issue reaches finality, it can not be re opened (several exemptions)

Coming to different departments, it is also useful in certain fraud cases.  In a case known to me the Regional office, Area office, Head office and Legal dept are custodian of the information.

In court case where they has legal obligation, they maintained silence in affidavit .

RTI Application was filed to RO, the information appeared absurd. (They have stated that X has written to them a letter on 11-2-1980-The fact is that X expired on 30-9-73)

Second RTI Application was filed to Area office, a different information was provided,

Same information was solicited through RTI from HQ , a different version has come.

All the information provided by each office for one issue was consolidated and filed as a complaint to CVC alleging fraudulent fabrication.

Legal dept and Audit dept., has  provided certain other information directly to CVC and the complaint was closed.

The information provided to CVC was obtained and fresh RTI was once again filed and it was heard at CIC, and Hon'ble IC has decided what ever information was available PIO has provided and the matter can be treated as closed and to take remedial action against Public authority as what was finally stated by them was stated in his decision, taking this as final version.  Strangely for different applicants , they have denied information using all exemptions in RTI Act one by one and finally closing the issue that when a lease agreement certified copy was solicited (Lease term is initially for twenty years, renewed for another 20 years) they have simply stated that as per RTI Act providing information for the incidents occurred 20 years back is discretion of PIO.!

A writ mandamus was filed and awaiting response.

So frivolous, vexatious etc., are not applicable in RTI, and one has perseverance with a belief that if they are not providing information, they must be hiding some thing and follow up should be from several sides.

These are the common complaints by PIOs before IC, even before he opens the file.

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